Is It Wrong to Hate This Kid?

The New York Times has a profile of a 12-year-old, David Fishman, who goes out to dine alone and fancies himself a food critic. I read this article and found myself wanting to throttle this child, despite feeling that it was nice that he showed an interest in eating good, real food rather than chicken nuggets or some other rank food product. I couldn’t figure out if I was supposed to be charmed by this kid or offended? You tell me:

Normally passionate for seafood, David ordered a specialty of the restaurant, a prosciutto, as well as what the menu called una insalata di rucola e parmigiano. “Good variety,” he wrote in the leather-bound notebook he brought along, restaurant-critic-like. “Softish jazz music. Seem to enjoy kids but not overly.” In other words, no cloying smiles or insulting offer of grilled cheese.

The chef apparently found this all delightful (no doubt because of the presence of a New York Times reporter), but the kitchen staff had an interesting way of showing their delight:

The kitchen workers were so intrigued by the young adventurous eater that they sent out a bowl of complimentary tripe stew, which he enjoyed, although, he allowed, “It wasn’t my favorite.” He was a little surprised to learn, subsequently, that tripe was prepared stomach lining. His eyes went wide. “Intestines of what?” he asked. (Somehow, that seemed to matter.)

Evil genius on the part of the kitchen staff, although you have to give the kid credit for eating the tripe in the first place.

I think I’d like little David Fishman a lot better if instead of eating in a restaurant, scribbling in his critic’s notebook at age 12, he got a job as a busboy or a dishwasher. If he’s old enough to eat alone in a restaurant, he’s old enough to work in one. 

So am I a terrible person for not finding this child adorable in his uber-sophistication? For maybe hating his parents a little bit? Read the whole article before you start calling me – or him – names.

12-Year-Old’s a Critic and the Chef Loves It [NYT]